Tuesday, May 9, 2023


      This morning while shopping for groceries I met one of our former school district superintendents. 

     That immediately  started the way back machine. 

     When I was a child in that rickety old one room country school, there was a school inspector who visited about once a year. The inspector was feared by teacher and students because he had power and tended to be miserable. They would drill us on arithmetic and listen to us read and if we made errors they shouted at us. It was also rumored that they strapped kids. It was not a pleasant or positive situation.

     So you know that I started teaching before my 19th birthday. At teacher's college we were given more scary stories about the superintendent.

    So I merrily started teaching in September and told myself the superintendent wouldn't visit for a while. One fine September day about half an hour before school ended I heard a car come on the school yard. No worries. Parents came to pick up their kids. All of a sudden I noticed a well dressed man looking in the back door of the classroom. I had no idea who he was. He looked around and  beckoned for me to come out of the classroom. He was the superintendent. We went outside and sat on the steps. He wanted to know how things were going and he went over some administrative business to help me. I remember it as a very pleasant visit on a beautiful fall day. I remember how supportive this visit was. He visited two more times with more encouragement and assistance. 

    Fast forward a bit to the end of my career. We didn't get superintendent's reports anymore but we had many classroom visits. I was a department head and had to visit department teachers twice a year. I took duplicate notes and gave the teacher a copy before I left the classroom. The principal and vice principal visited each classroom at least once a year. Each teacher had to find a teacher in another school that they could observe for one period. This program was to keep teachers constantly upgrading and learning knew skills. The system was based on supportive and positive relationships. 

    So over my career there was a major change in educational supervision for the better. 

    I will always remember my first superintendent, Harry Smith, and how he encouraged me.

    I will always remember Dave who had a vision for the school district and ably lead us to achieve those goals.